Faculty of Science Rules


Before submitting an application for any of the below, students enrolled in a Science program should familiarise themselves with the Faculty Rules. Contact the Science Student Centre for further assistance.


Recogniton of Prior Learning (RPL)

(Also referred to as Credit Transfer or Advanced Standing)

All applications for RPL at UNSW are subject to UNSW Recognition of Prior Learning (Coursework Programs) Policy and Procedures. In addition, the following conditions apply for all UNSW Science programs (including the Science component of dual award programs):

     1. Time Limit

Defined as time elapsed from completion of course to commencement of Science program.

Specific Credit (Eg Core Courses)7 Years
Unspecified Credit (eg Gen Ed or Electives)10 Years


     2. Maximum RPL Permitted

50% of the coursework component of the Science program, excluding honours years. For dual award programs that include a Science component, it will be a maximum of 50% of the Science component of the dual degree, excluding Honours.

    3. Re-admission

Students who are readmitted into a Science program after a period of unapproved absence or deferment, or after exclusion, will not necessarily retain RPL that was previously approved. The time limits above may be re-applied at time of re-admission.

Applications for RPL will only be assessed for students who have accepted a place to study in a UNSW Science program.


Study Load and Overloading

Students who wish to enrol in more than 18 UoC in a standard term must obtain approval from their Program Authority prior to enrolment. For Science students, this permission will only be given to students who meet the following criteria:

  1. Have completed at least 48 UoC at UNSW (advanced standing is not included)
  2. Have an overall WAM of 65 or above
  3. Have demonstrated capacity to succeed in full time study by successfully completing 24 UoC in each of the previous two standard semesters (or 18 UoC per standard term from 2019)

These criteria may be waived by the Associate Dean (Academic Programs) if a student:

  1. Will be within 6 UoC of completing their program at the end of the term in question, or
  2. Transfers between programs and needs to take specific courses to progress within the new program

If approved, students will only be allowed to enrol into an additional 6 UoC per term.

Approval to overload DOES NOT also constitute approval to enrol in timetable clashes, full classes or courses without meeting the pre-requisites.


Cross-institutional Study

Science students may apply to complete courses at another institution subject to the following eligibility criteria:

    1. Student’s academic standing is GOOD; and

    2. Student is in their final year; and

    3. a) the course content is not taught at UNSW; or

        b) the course is not offered at UNSW in a timely way that would enable the student to progress with their studies in a reasonable timeframe

The following limitations on cross-institutional Study will apply:

    1. Maximum 12 UoC can be granted within a student's program

    2. Capstone courses must be completed at UNSW

    3. Overloading is not permitted

    4. If a student has already been granted the maximum amount of advanced standing for their program, cross-institutional study will not be approved

Approved international exchange is considered separately to cross-institutional study. However, when students have undertaken approved international exchange, additional cross-institutional study will only be permitted under exceptional circumstances.


Timetable Clash

Science students may apply to enrol in a timetable clash subject to the following eligibility criteria:

   1. a) the clash is for one hour, between two lectures, or a lecture & tutorial/laboratory, where the lecture is the class being missed; 


       b) a clash that exceeds 1 hour is accompanied by an approval from the Course Convenor.

    2. The student is not in their first term of study.

    3. A clash where a non-science course will be missed has approval from the non-science Faculty.  Exceptions to be the above will be considered on a case by case basis where the clash is unavoidable.  


Exceptions to be the above will be considered on a case by case basis where the clash is unavoidable, and the course is required for the student’s major or program.

In applying for a timetable clash, students acknowledge the following:

  •  A clash is not grounds for special consideration or alternative assessment requests.
  • Students are responsible for revising any missed content due to a timetable clash.
  • Students must ensure there are no assessments in any clashing classes or make appropriate arrangements if there are.


Course Substitution

Students may apply for a course substitution, or variation to the rules of their program or major for the following reasons:

  • The core or required course is not available in the upcoming term, adversely impacting the student's progression or graduation.
  • The student wishes to complete a course outside their program requirements due to career aspirations and/ or breadth of knowledge, and they have no room to complete this course as an elective or general education. Requests on this basis must be supported by a statement outlining the reasons.

In applying for a course substitution, students acknowledge the following:

  • Approved course substitutions are valid for one term only. This means that upon failing a course substitution, the student would need to enrol in the core or compulsory course again, if available in the subsequent term.
  • A course substitution is not grounds for special consideration under any circumstances.


Useful Course Codes for Credit Transfer and Cross-institutional Study



    Free Electives


Non-Science 6 UoC Level 1


Non-Science 12 UoC Level 1


Non-Science 18 UoC Level 1


Non-Science 24 UoC Level 1


Non-Science 6 UoC Level 2


Non-Science 12 UoC Level 2




     General Education


6 UoC General Education


12 UoC General Education



    Science Electives 

Science 6 UoC Level 1


Science 12 UoC Level 1


Science 18 UoC Level 1


Science 24 UoC Level 1


Science 6 UoC Level 2


Science 12 UoC Level 2


Science 18 UoC Level 2


Science 6 UoC Level 3


Science 12 UoC Level 3